Munguia edges Derevyanchenko in contender for fight of the year
12th-round knockdown is the margin of victory in an all-out slugfest
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Super middleweight Jaime Munguia was locked in a savage back-and-forth battle with Sergiy Derevyanchenko and appeared to be on the verge of losing his perfect record.
But Munguia never stopped swinging and finally landed a hard left hand to Derevyanchenko’s midsection in the 12th round for the only knockdown of the fight.
It proved to be the difference in Munguia’s razor-close unanimous decision victory in a bona fide fight of the year contender in the main event of a Golden Boy Promotions card on DAZN on Saturday night before a raucous crowd of 7,647 at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.
Munguia trailed 105-104 on two scorecards going into the final round but the knockdown made it a 10-8 round, enabling him to pull out a 115-112, 114-113 and 114-113 win to preserve his unbeaten status and claim a vacant regional belt.
The irony is that after the fighters signed contracts for a 12-round bout, Munguia’s side wanted to change it to a 10-rounder. But Derevyanchenko, known as a slow starter, wanted the longer fight and refused to make the change even after Golden Boy offered to sweeten his $400,000 purse with an additional six figures. Had the fight gone to the scorecards after 10 rounds, Derevyanchenko would have won a majority decision, 96-94, 96-94, 95-95.